Transactions listed are from July 1, 1980 to
June 30, 1981.
- August 13, 1980
Signed Walter Jordan as a free agent.
- September 16, 1980
- September 24, 1980
- September 25, 1980
As part of a 3-team trade, the Cleveland Cavaliers traded Campy Russell to the New York Knicks; the Kansas City Kings traded Bill Robinzine to the Cleveland Cavaliers; and the New York Knicks traded Joe Meriweather and a 1981 1st round draft pick (Steve Johnson was later selected) to the Kansas City Kings.
- October 1, 1980
Signed Robert Smith as a free agent.
- October 14, 1980
Waived Robert Smith.
- October 30, 1980
Traded Bill Robinzine, a 1983 1st round draft pick (Derek Harper was later selected) and a 1986 1st round draft pick (Roy Tarpley was later selected) to the Dallas Mavericks for Richard Washington and Jerome Whitehead.
- October 31, 1980
- November 17, 1980
Waived Jerome Whitehead.
- November 27, 1980
- December 19, 1980
Waived John Lambert.
Signed Mack Calvin as a veteran free agent.
- February 7, 1981
- March 13, 1981
Reassigned Head Coach Bill Musselman.
Hired Don Delaney as Head Coach.
- May 5, 1981
Signed Lee Johnson as a free agent.
- May 20, 1981
- May 25, 1981
Signed James Edwards as a veteran free agent and sent a 1981 2nd round draft pick (Ray Blume was later selected) and a 1982 2nd round draft pick (Guy Morgan was later selected) to the Indiana Pacers as compensation.
- June 8, 1981
- June 9, 1981
Drafted Ken Page in the 5th round (96th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Ethan Martin in the 4th round (74th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Russell Bowers in the 3rd round (59th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Mickey Dillard in the 3rd round (55th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Greg Boone in the 10th round (208th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Paul Roba in the 9th round (187th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Glen Marcus in the 8th round (166th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Andre Smith in the 7th round (142nd pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
Drafted Aaron Strayhorn in the 6th round (120th pick) of the 1981 NBA Draft.
- June 16, 1981
- June 20, 1981
Signed Bob Wilkerson as a veteran free agent.